Game Lords Fakes :/
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Post Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:25 pm 
 

tfm wrote:The most disturbing thing about these copies, aside from the obvious theft, is that people are paying money for them; in other words, more disturbing fakes are coming. It won't be long until a pristine Tsojconth or a pristine Ghost Tower or Tamoachan shows up. I would be wary of the mint item without provenance, and even then a comparison to a verified copy would be wise. We're lucky with the Gamelords stuff because the later print is obviously the result of an unskilled and careless mentality. A real pro could have done better. It seems a given that as the values increase for the reproducible rares, so will the temptation for larceny.

BTW: For those of you needing a real Montie, Aaron still had some for $4.95 the last time I checked.


That has been my point; why use a counterfeit printing machine to churn out $5 dollar bills when the same machine can do $100's?  It's only a matter of time until someone prints up something just rare enough to be worth something, but not rare enough to undergo extensive scrutiny from the buyer.  As I said before, early Midkemia and Companions products have semi-shoddy printing anyway, they would be easy to duplicate and bring from $30-$50 as is, not to mention a "long lost" mint copy, or heavy forbid even a "lost" case of Tulan of the Isles or Brotherhood of the Bolt that is suspiciously unearthed.  Then, if the guy really has some balls, well how many of us have actually seen a ST1 or Fazzlewood and would immediately realize they were fakes?   This bears very skeptical cynicism from collectors in the future if some "too good to be true" items start popping up in mint shape...

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Post Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:30 pm 
 

Aaron had dubious (fake) Taverns for sale also, although his Montie Haul's are legit.


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 12:52 am 
 

It's getting tougher.  Look at the plethora of Second-Chance offers.  Bad people are beginning to pay attention.  Right now it seems limited to computer-based fraud, but I suspect that will change when the dollar-values get even higher.  The good news is that many (maybe even most) of the rares are found and cared for by responsible people.  It also helps that several of the rares would be terribly difficult to reproduce.  I can't imagine how someone could mimic any of the standard-cover D&D material.  This may explain, in part, why ST1 commands the price it does.  It looks and feels like any of the other standard modules.  You can't have that feel with the trifecta.  It's safer.

The best test I can think of would be a microscopic examination of the cover to determine the weave of the paper and the sharpness of the print line, similar to the grid line discussion for POTVQ.  The chromatic test (a measure of reflected light creating a signature) would not work because of the varying degrees of fading due to differences in environment--a Tsojconth stored in Hawaii for twenty years, for example, will be different than one stored in Britain.

Another alternative to help curb dishonesty would be a database recording who has what, so known rares could be tracked.  I won't hold my breath for this one, however.

I might be alone in this, but I've always felt more comfortable buying a used rare than a near-mint one, and so I personally view a played module as being worth the same as a clean one, even if collectors by and large don't see things that way at all.  It's comforting to see a character sheet filled out or notations made on a map.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 1:45 am 
 

Badmike wrote: bring from $30-$50 as is, not to mention a "long lost" mint copy, or heavy forbid even a "lost" case of Tulan of the Isles or Brotherhood of the Bolt that is suspiciously unearthed. Then, if the guy


You can still pickup some of these for a nice price though...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... %3AIT&rd=1

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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 4:23 am 
 

The group here has a good feel for what looks and sounds like a duck. If everyone says they think its a duck, then it may well be a duck.

With the recent Fazzlewood auctions (two mint condition Fazzlewoods going on eBay in one week, and one of the sellers only has a Black and White Scanner!), I suspect someone may well have made a killing with a photocopier, but it's for the buyers to prove that, and the only real way to do that would be a direct comparison with a known legitimate copy.

But let's face it, if you're gonna fake a easy to reproduce digest book, you need to be pretty dumb to go for Complete Tavern over Fazzlewood. Even though Complete Tavern would draw less suspicion, you need to shift quite a lot of them in order to make a profit, whereas you only need to sell one Fazzlewood. The same goes for photocopied tourneys.


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 4:38 am 
 

Well, what were the odds of being discovered by photocopying a Tavern versus a Fazzle? It was only by chance that the forgery was discovered, since it is not a high-profile item.


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 7:06 am 
 

I finally did get a response to my question, and boy was it an eye opener. The seller responded to my above question with this simple yet informative and well thought out reply. Seller responded with a "No.". :roll:

Since he is clearly not taking this very seriously, I sent him this message:
bclarkie wrote:Ummm, thanks. I guess since that you will not tell me about how you came about these, I am going to assume that you are infact directly responsible for the forgeries and I will now have to follow up with the rightful owner of the copyright on them. Selling unauthorized copies and making forgeries is quite illegal, and is very prosecuteable as by evidenced by what happened qith napster several years ago and what the MPAA is doing today to movie downloader. Good day.

BTW, it is also illegal to sell photocopies of pages for which WOTC will be notified of as well.


Lets see if this gets his attention. :wink:


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:13 am 
 

Just like the previous thread, I called Tadashi's attention to this thread, since he is in fact the owner of the rights for all GL products.  

I can't imagine that Different Worlds will allow someone to steal revenue by using our intellectual property, especially when we a) are still selling legitimate, original copies of the books, and b) have plans to reprint GL material under a d20 conversion.


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 9:30 am 
 

Tsojconth and Fazzlewood are particularly susceptible to the photocopy method which is why I shudder when I see people spening so much money on them.  I have a feeling we'll be seeing more and more appearing out of the "woodwork" in the near future.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 9:48 am 
 

The good news is it is very difficult to duplicate the age of items. My copy of Tsojconth has a very distinct coloration due to age that would be remarkably difficult to prevent in my opinion given the type of paper, etc. I do not know about Fazzlewood. But unless it is from someone very close to the original publication and kept under very controlled storage conditions.... it is prudent to be suspicious if it looks 'new'.



On a side note, Is the transit strike keeping you close to home as well, Dathon? A good day to catch up on paperwork here and waste a bit on forums/ebay.  :wink:


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 12:27 pm 
 

I wish it was the case that it's hard to age an item, but it's not.  Even the faded paper which graces most of the rares I have seen can be duplicated.  Spend some time looking at map collecting.  You think it would be difficult to mimic a 15th century Viking map, but it has been done.  It doesn't take a lot to antique something.  Look at all of the shit coming out of China in the antiques section on eBay.  It's a business.  The same thing with African artifacts.  Many of them are fake.  This is how good they are: the forger will go to a field of ancient pottery shards, gather them up, grind them and then refire them into new forms undetectable by radio carbon dating.  Wicked.

As far as comparing things go, I think it's a great idea.  To that end, I'll volunteer and perhaps some others could too to do the work to help those with questions about a particular item.  Ideally, it would be nice to have them side by side for a microscopic comparison, but it may be possible to try it with descriptions/HR images of a selected spot on the cover.  For example, pick a small letter on the Fazzle and scan it in at 9600dpi and post it where it could be compared or emailed.  The paper/printing process is the key here.  That's where the anomalies will come out.

Any thoughts?

  

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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 12:49 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:The group here has a good feel for what looks and sounds like a duck. If everyone says they think its a duck, then it may well be a duck.

With the recent Fazzlewood auctions (two mint condition Fazzlewoods going on eBay in one week, and one of the sellers only has a Black and White Scanner!), I suspect someone may well have made a killing with a photocopier, but it's for the buyers to prove that, and the only real way to do that would be a direct comparison with a known legitimate copy.

But let's face it, if you're gonna fake a easy to reproduce digest book, you need to be pretty dumb to go for Complete Tavern over Fazzlewood. Even though Complete Tavern would draw less suspicion, you need to shift quite a lot of them in order to make a profit, whereas you only need to sell one Fazzlewood. The same goes for photocopied tourneys.


I guess a lot of what sells for big money on Ebay puzzles me. First, tourneys. If you have ever seen most tourneys, they are basically mimeographed or photocopied and if you had a Kinkos around the corner you coudl duplicate these so easily it wouldn't be funny.  The Massconfusion stuff sells pretty good on ebay and apparantly the orginal owners have tons of the stuff (they have been auctioning these tourneys for several years).  An interprising person would just have to buy one of each, then run a couple hundred of their own copies.....these tourneys used to bring in very high prices.  What are you going to compare then to? Other tourneys?  
  I wouldn't pay over 5-10 bucks for ANY tourney, no matter how reputable the source. Unlike standard printed TSR stuff, it's just far too easy to counterfeit. I personally think they are bad investments  :cry:

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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 12:53 pm 
 

bclarkie wrote:I finally did get a response to my question, and boy was it an eye opener. The seller responded to my above question with this simple yet informative and well thought out reply. Seller responded with a "No.". :roll:

Since he is clearly not taking this very seriously, I sent him this message:
bclarkie wrote:Ummm, thanks. I guess since that you will not tell me about how you came about these, I am going to assume that you are infact directly responsible for the forgeries and I will now have to follow up with the rightful owner of the copyright on them. Selling unauthorized copies and making forgeries is quite illegal, and is very prosecuteable as by evidenced by what happened qith napster several years ago and what the MPAA is doing today to movie downloader. Good day.

BTW, it is also illegal to sell photocopies of pages for which WOTC will be notified of as well.


Lets see if this gets his attention. :wink:


Brian, what was he selling photocopies of from WOTC? On his site he's only selling the fake GameLords stuff right now.

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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 12:55 pm 
 

Adam Shultz wrote: strike keeping you close to home as well, Dathon? A good day to catch up on paperwork here and waste a bit on forums/ebay. :wink:




You poor NYC bastards  :twisted: Looks like Christmas came a little early, unless you have a boss that expects you to pay for a taxi to and from work everyday.  



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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 2:26 pm 
 

:lol: I am my own boss in this regards and I am sitting on my lazy ass in my office looking at all of the papers I need to sort through and process.

The good news is I took an early swim today and I am thinking about a nap.  :lol:  With the job on the upper West Side of Manhattan and my home in Brooklyn....I am tempted to do the same tomorrow if this continues.

Please continue the counterfeit discussion but please don't give the perpetrators too many ideas!
I think tfm's idea concerning microscopic authentication to be as solid an idea as any if anyone can figure out how to organize such an effort.


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 3:44 pm 
 

tfm wrote:I wish it was the case that it's hard to age an item, but it's not. Even the faded paper which graces most of the rares I have seen can be duplicated. Spend some time looking at map collecting. You think it would be difficult to mimic a 15th century Viking map, but it has been done. It doesn't take a lot to antique something. Look at all of the shit coming out of China in the antiques section on eBay. It's a business. The same thing with African artifacts. Many of them are fake. This is how good they are: the forger will go to a field of ancient pottery shards, gather them up, grind them and then refire them into new forms undetectable by radio carbon dating. Wicked.

As far as comparing things go, I think it's a great idea. To that end, I'll volunteer and perhaps some others could too to do the work to help those with questions about a particular item. Ideally, it would be nice to have them side by side for a microscopic comparison, but it may be possible to try it with descriptions/HR images of a selected spot on the cover. For example, pick a small letter on the Fazzle and scan it in at 9600dpi and post it where it could be compared or emailed. The paper/printing process is the key here. That's where the anomalies will come out.

Any thoughts?


    And...the 15th century Viking map fake is still considered by some to be genuine, despite the discovery of Titanium White paint on the map images!


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 3:47 pm 
 

grodog wrote:Just like the previous thread, I called Tadashi's attention to this thread, since he is in fact the owner of the rights for all GL products.

I can't imagine that Different Worlds will allow someone to steal revenue by using our intellectual property, especially when we a) are still selling legitimate, original copies of the books, and b) have plans to reprint GL material under a d20 conversion.


    What I don't get is....if you plan to make fake copies, why use pink paper?

    Was that just what he had on-hand?

    Why not invest just a tiny amount of leg work and get tan paper?  :x

Mark


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 6:10 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
bclarkie wrote:
BTW, it is also illegal to sell photocopies of pages for which WOTC will be notified of as well.


Brian, what was he selling photocopies of from WOTC? On his site he's only selling the fake GameLords stuff right now.

Mike B.


Mike, he is selling Deities & Demigods with photocopied pages of the Cthulhu and Melniboinean mythos. :roll: I do have an update as well, here is his response to my latest query:

copyright thief seller wrote:1) Let's see...would you reveal where you get your items so others can get them and compete with your sales? No? So shut up.

2) I am not selling photocopies. Contact anyone you want.

3) You know what happens when you ass u me?

4) Kindly go away unless you have a legitimate question. e-mail to harass is a violation of eBay rules; your e-mails have no merit and will be reported.


An very important note as well is the fact that I did not receive this reply from the user ID danddplayer, I received this correspondace from atotally different user ID pestolo. :o

eBay Feedback Profile for pestolo

This too me makes it plainly obvious that he is using this idea with the intention of selling his fakes and copies through an alternate user ID to protect his main one. Allan, I am assuming that Tadashie is going to follow up with EBay about these fakes that are being sold. If need be I will forward my fake coipies to yourself or him directly for that matter as proof. Let me know.


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 7:12 pm 
 

3) You know what happens when you ass u me?


:lol: I am not sure what that means but it doesn't sound good. :lol:


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 7:18 pm 
 

Good work.  I spent some time this afternoon looking at Fazzle versus several copies I made on different kinds of paper of one letter on the cover and the microscope definitely gives up the goods.  If you would like to know what to look for, please PM me.

  
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